The Null Device

Turkmenistan in space

The central Asian republic of Turkmenistan proudly claims to have joined the space race. Turkmenistan, for all of its ice palaces in deserts and other marvels, has no actual launching facilities, and its debut as a space power did not involve anything quite as conventional as cosmonauts or satellites; instead, the state has launched a copy of the country's eccentric president's book of wisdom into space.
"The sacred text of Rukhnama was chosen because it contains all the wisdom of the Turkmen people, thanks to its creator, Turkmenbashi," the article said, using the name the country's president, Saparmurat Niyazov, has given himself, meaning "Guide of All Turkmens".
Niyazov is best known for delineating the Ages of Man, renaming the months and recently banning lip-synching. His book of wisdom was launched into space on a Russian rocket, along with several Japanese satellites.

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